The designers of the new city hall tried to create a functional building that blended the grace of classical architecture and the fortitude to last 100 years.
Krebs Architecture and Engineering of Birmingham drew the plans, which call for a 15,793-square-foot, one-story, brick building. The city already has similar Grecian and American architectural styles nearby, including next-door neighbor First United Methodist Church and the Limestone County Courthouse a block south.
The building will have tall, paned windows and two separate cornices (attics) that create the illusion of two stories in the front and back of the building. The front of the building, which will face Hobbs Street, will have an entry portico with classical entablature supported by four columns with Ionic capitals and steps leading to it from three sides. In keeping with Greek Revival style, the main door will have an elaborate door surround. A wheelchair access ramp will be located immediately to the side of the entry.
The new city hall will house the offices of the mayor, technology, finance, human resources and the fire department administration, support staff, an event kitchen and break room, a conference room, City Council chambers, a council pre-meeting room and a council work room. The design also includes a storm-safe room and an additional office for the future. The building can be expanded, if needed.
Another of the plan’s features is its interior courtyard — about the size of the municipal courtroom at the Athens Police Department — were there will be brick pavers, container plants and tables. Employees and members of the public will be able to eat lunch or rest there. The courtyard is designed to be functional in that it allows access to the council chambers through the courtyard and it also allows some offices to have windows they would not otherwise have.
One feature of the council chambers is that the public will be able to access the space at night for meetings while the rest of the city hall offices are closed.